Nassau Suffolk Law Services and the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) are pleased to recognize Gregory S. Lisi as Pro Bono Attorney of the Month for his years of service with the Landlord/Tenant Attorney of the Day Program for VLP. Through the program, Mr. Lisi has represented countless low income residents facing eviction in landlord/tenant cases.
Mr. Lisi has been involved in pro bono work since his law school days at Georgetown University Law Center. He began working with the Volunteer Lawyers Project over 15 years ago when he started his own law firm. He wanted to volunteer and had time to devote as he grew his practice. It gave him the opportunity to give back as well as gain litigation experience. However, he found the experience so gratifying that he has continued to make time to volunteer even with his busy schedule. Mr. Lisi now heads the Employment and Labor Practice at Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana LLP where he focuses on discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour law, management/union issues, and other related matters. Mr. Lisi also volunteers at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and with various programs of the Nassau County Bar Association. His firm has been very supportive of his pro bono work.
Mr. Lisi speaks passionately about the benefits of pro bono work, most of all how good it feels to give back to others. The tenants he sees are scared of losing their homes and feel they have nowhere else to turn. They are so appreciative that someone is helping them and they are getting quality representation that they would not otherwise have been able to afford. “When you see the look on their faces it is so gratifying,” he states. Mr. Lisi related a story about a woman who was being evicted from public housing. Her grandson asked Mr. Lisi what he was getting out of handling her case. He told the man he was not getting anything so the man asked him why anyone would do it. Mr. Lisi told him how rewarding it was to help people and told the man to volunteer somewhere and he would realize how meaningful it is to help others.
Mr. Lisi also commended the work of the Volunteer Lawyers Project describing the hard work and dedication of those involved and how great it is to see volunteers come month after month, year after year, giving their time in an area that often is not their regular practice area.
“Pro bono work is intellectually and emotionally rewarding,” he says. His advice to attorneys thinking about doing pro bono work is to find an area you are interested in and would like to try even if it is not your normal area of expertise. “It is exciting to try something new and at the same time to help people who really need help.” Especially for those starting a firm, he feels it is a good way to experience new areas of law, expand your client base and expertise while giving back to others. He stressed though that the people who do pro bono work are not doing it to help themselves, but to help others. Roberta Scoll, Staff Attorney with Nassau Suffolk Law Services and coordinator of the Landlord/Tenant Attorney of the Day Program praised Mr. Lisi as “cheerfully volunteering his time and always willing to help out the Attorney of the Day Program.” For his continuing dedication to VLP, we honor Greg Lisi as Pro Bono Attorney of the Month.